Cancer is rated as the No.1 health concern among Americans according to a survey from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). Americans also believe cancer is impossible to prevent and blame the disease on factors they cannot control such as hormones in beef and pesticides on food.
I find this fatalistic mindset upsetting. I know many who have lived an intentional life of wellness and have experienced health and long life. There is also ample research that links cancer risk to things we can control , such as diet, physical activity and weight gain.
The World Cancer Research Fund and (AICR) issued an encouraging report titled: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective. A few of their findings:
1. Excess body fat increases the risk of many forms of cancer including pancreas, colon, kidney, endometrium, and postmemopausal breast cancer. The report urges us to limit our intake of processed foods especially those high in sugar and fat and low in fiber. We are urged to consume five or more servings of vegetables and fruits daily and involve ourselves in physical activity at least 30 minutes daily.
2. Red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer : Researchers recommend limiting consumption to 18 onces (cooked) per week. (a 6 ounce serving 3 times a week) I believe it is important to reduce red meat consumption to less than 6 ounces month and continue reducing the amount until you are rarely consuming red meat. Researchers say beyond the 18 ounces every 1.7 ounces or red meat you consume daily increases your cancer risk by 15 percent. Highly discouraged are process meats such as ham, bacon, sausage, and lunch meat and for every 1.7 ounces of processed meat consumed per day you increase your risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent.
This is not on the front page of your local newspaper because of the money behind the meat. We must take this seriously if we expect to stay healthy and improve the health of our country. Send this article to others you care about.
3. Alcohol is linked to many cancers as well in both men and women. Because small amounts of alcohol can protect against heart disease, the panel decided to recommend limiting rather than avoiding consumption. Research has shown there are many beneficial fruits and vegetables that provide the same benefits of wine and it is unnecessary to include the risk of regular alcohol consumption in order to protect our hearts.
These are a few of the many things we all have control over. Start today improving your dietary choices and experience a life of long health and options. Making lifestyle choices that reduce your health risk are no guarantee but this and other research is showing we can do a whole lot to improve our risk factor.
I will agree these choices require personal commitment and follow threw that require dedication. Everyone is not committed to the work until the diagnosis is brought down. I have talked to many individuals diagnosed with cancer and they all say they knew they could have made better choices but just did not do it. Don’t let yourself become another sad statistic.
Today if you do not have cancer or some other degenerative disease such as heart disease, liver disease or hardening of the arteries you have options and you are still in control. If you are willing to take that control. Knowing what is right is only one step in the process. Having a reason to live comes before knowledge so your first step is your personal reason.
I wanted to be healthy and raise healthy children 30 years ago when I choose to commit to life long health. I wanted to feel good and free to live a long life of joy and contribution. That is how I am wired. How are you wired? What motivates you? What would you like to do?
I read all that was available at the time and went out searching for answers to health and wellness. This knowledge is not new it is easier to find these days so why do we have so many falling to disease?
Find your inspiration, make you plans, commit to a lifelong goal and find a supportive group of friends to journey through life with. There are health supportive groups is most cities and on line forums as well. It is said we must finish the race, fight a good fight and stay the course. A life of health and wellness is necessary if you want any other pleasures of life.
Now I have committed to making a difference in peoples lives until the end of mine, I published a few books, a web site and opened a wellness/anti-aging yoga and culinary institute to keep me motivated for the next 30 years. That takes me out to 87. What are your goals for the next 10, 20 or 30 years? Oh yes I plan a few grandchildren to love on; but that is out of my control.